Ends Oct 05 | 1h 25m | West Village

American Moor (Red Bull Theater)

From 99 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent

About the show

This drama takes audiences into the audition room as an African-American actor responds to the demands of a white director presuming to better understand Shakespeare’s iconic black character, Othello. More…

From the show:

Keith Hamilton Cobb’s AMERICAN MOOR is the award-winning, tour-de-force new play that takes audiences behind-the-scenes and into the audition room as an African-American actor responds to the demands of a white director presuming to better understand Shakespeare’s iconic black character, Othello.

A passionate and poetic exploration, AMERICAN MOOR is an essential look at the experience and perspective of black men in America while challenging the capacity of theatre to make all people fully visible and embraced.


Member Reviews (99)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent
82
Avg Score

During previews
96
Must see, Masterful, Profound, Relevant, Riveting

See it if You're interested in the experiences and perceptions of a black actor in America. Incredibly illuminating and relevant. A must-see.

Don't see it if If you don't like intelligent one-person shows - but you'll be missing out on one of the most powerful and resonant shows I've ever seen.

During previews
97
Profound, Masterful, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to go on an enthralling 90 minute journey with Mr. Cobb. Along the way you will hear his musings on race, acting, and Othello.

Don't see it if you need an action-packed evening. Although Mr. Cobb is in almost constant motion -- nothing static in this production.

Also This is the third time I've seen a version of this show. There have be... Read more Read less

During previews
97
Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a show w/ great writing and acting brilliantly exploring race perceptions.

Don't see it if if you don't want to look in the mirror

Also a wonderful play about theater and "forcing" an actor to preform a cha... Read more Read less

During previews
83
Thought-provoking

See it if Really gets you into his point of view, emotions, frustrations as a Black man being told how to act as a Black man by white men.

Don't see it if Race, actor/theater talk or one person-ish shows aren't your thing.

Also Diversity: Black male playwright and actor.... Read more Read less

During previews
94
Masterful, Must see, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you want to see a breathtaking tour de force dancing at the intersection of race, the theatre industry, Shakespeare, and personal reflection

Don't see it if you aren't interested in a deep dive on Othello and its relevance to American black male identity.

During previews
93
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful, Intense, Great acting

See it if You like Keith Hamilton Cobb. I was an “All My Children” fan and knew him from there, albeit a brief stint. I didn’t follow him much after,

Don't see it if However, I didn’t realize how dynamic of an actor Keith is. He speaks to the plight of “rejected” actors, specifically large, black, male

Also Actors, who find trouble in breaking away from the stereotypes and not... Read more Read less

During previews
84
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a black perspective on acting Shakespeare. Reveals a lot about prejudice and stereotypes. Great actor. Fast 90 min

Don't see it if You do not like pieces that examine society and race relations

During previews
60
Disappointing, Great acting

See it if You want to see a great acting performance.

Don't see it if You're bothered by a play that's one-note.

During previews
88
Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a great performance about a serious life issue: identity and the frustration of not being seen or heard as one truly is.

Don't see it if you are upset by anger and frustration because this man is suffused with both emotions. However, he is so much more than just reactivity. Go

During previews
98
Brilliant, Masterful, Must see, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You want to reflect on race in America & your own implicit bias. See for a BRILLIANT performance & profound interpretation of Othello.

Don't see it if You are threatened by examining your own implicit bias. If you hate Shakespeare this play may turn you off. Or if you want light fare.

Also This is MUST SEE courageous performance & incredibly intelligent scrip... Read more Read less

During previews
80
Script spins its wheels at times, Compelling performance, Astute exploration of race and power dynamics

See it if Cobb’s powerful stage presence & sonorous voice hold attention throughout. His writing is ripe with Shakespearean overtones. I’d cast him!

Don't see it if The clueless director/interlocutor—realistically drawn though he may be—is a bit of a straw man. What if he’d been changed by the actor?

Also Cobb’s linking of the vastly unequal power dynamic of the actor in the... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Intelligent, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if Great acting, thought provoking show, but sometimes I could not follow the differences among the arguments proposed

Don't see it if Do not like Intense intellectual exercise.

During previews
99
Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Kevin Hamilton Cobb delivers a masterful performance of pure and unadulterated brilliance. Run to the box office to see the performance!

Don't see it if If the topic of African-American man & Shakespeare make you feel uncomfortable then this is not your show.

Also This show is definitely ready for Broadway and will make money for bac... Read more Read less

During previews
75
See me. see me., Great staging, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You are excited by committed, risk-taking, physically graceful acting. Very few actors have the amazing physicality of Keith Hamilton Cobb.

Don't see it if If you would be irritated to hear for 90:minutes how unfair life is to actors of color. (Asians have it worse.)

Also Or the writing chops. He’s not happy with the limitations his acting c... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Not your english teacher's "othello", Different, More screed vs moving monologue, Repetitious, Masterful acting

See it if you're a Shakespeare/Othello completist; you're a fan of Keith Hamilton Cobb; you've wondered how actors feel playing the Moor of Venice

Don't see it if you're fascinated more by Shakespeare's language & characters vs how 1 actor becomes enraged by directors, racism, role interpretations

Also As a non-angry Black man watching Cobb, I may have had a different exp... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Repetitious, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you are interested in an exploration of being an African American man in America and in theater via the lens of Othello.

Don't see it if you aren't ready to look at yourself.

During previews
73
Timely, Indulgent, Thoughtful, Competent, Intelligent

See it if you are a Shakespeare fan and are interested in a black actor's experience of auditioning in American theatre.

Don't see it if you are a regular theater goer and are hoping for a show that goes even deeper in challenging the societal norms of today.

During previews
69
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Powerful, though strident

See it if you like to be berated about white privilege and black stereotyping. The acting is intense, and the message is worth hearing. At least once.

Don't see it if The message is pounded in over and over. After the first 15 minutes, nothing new is said. Must actors of any color tell directors of (cont'd

Also any color how to interpret a play? Does a black actor know more about ... Read more Read less

During previews
86
Taking the bard from the inside out, Eloquent look at shakespeare

See it if you love Shakespeare, great acting & the passions & poetry an actor brings to his roles. An eloquent look at the bard.

Don't see it if you think you know everything about African American actors & won't like the heavily weighted race card here.

Also I've loved every Red Bull show that I've seen. ... Read more Read less

During previews
88
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You want to see a well-acted, well-written thought provoking play, and you have some knowledge about Othello

Don't see it if You have no knowledge or interest in Othello or Shakespearean theater, offended by profanity, or want to see a romance, comedy or musical

During previews
79
Important, Recommended but too long, Great insights, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you are a Shakespeare or theater pro/lover. You want to better understand how race & power quietly impact interactions btwn ppl.

Don't see it if you've little patience for shows that can feel a bit long, or more observational than personal (his keen insights help offset these things).

Also AMERICAN MOOR's many spot-on insights on language, theater, race, & po... Read more Read less

During previews
86
Dizzying, Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you admire great acting. and a relevant, thought-provoking evening in the theatre.

Don't see it if you don’t care for 1 man plays, or plays about racial issues. Don’t go if you’re just in the mood to be “entertained”...it’ requires thougt

During previews
90
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You are interested in one man’s exploration of being black in America and being an actor and how that impacts on approaching Othello

Don't see it if You expect to see Othello

During previews
78
Longer than necessary, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if you're interested in an in-depth exploration of a black actor's feelings about Othello and being a black Shakespearean actor in America.

Don't see it if you've seen a lot of plays about race recently. While Cobb's perspective is insightful, the show itself could be trimmed/edited.

Also Though Cobb cannot speak for every black actor, I have no doubt that h... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Cliched, Slow, Great acting, Clever

See it if Primarily a one-man show starring Keith Hamilton Cobb who is very impressive. Auditioning for the part of Othello.

Don't see it if You're not into solo performances. I enjoyed this play for the most part however I felt it was in need of editing.

Also It was kind of listening to somebody complain about his boss or Superi... Read more Read less


September 8th, 2019
"In ‘American Moor,’ an Insider’s Guide to ‘Othello’: A new play argues that no one knows more about Shakespeare’s great tragedy than a man “born black in America.”
read more
September 10th, 2019
4/5 Stars "Cobb is as compelling a dramatist as he is a thespian; the play is disquieting, perceptive and often bitingly funny. Having spent more than 30 years trying to appease others, Cobb demands that the members of his audience, especially the white ones, see him and meet him where he stands."
read more
September 8th, 2019
3/4 Stars "Keith Hamilton Cobb delivers a compelling turn in this deeply felt meditation on Shakespeare and racism."
read more
September 10th, 2019
"Seeing Othello Through a Black Actor's Eyes in American Moor: Keith Hamilton Cobb's play about theater and race in America has its New York premiere at the Cherry Lane Theatre."
read more

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Cast & Creatives (3)